By Sakur AbdulSalam
Moses Magogo has finally gone unopposed as the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) President in an election which is slated to take place today (Saturday) in Masindi district.
This came after the High Court dismissed an application filed by disqualified FUFA presidential candidate Mujib Kasule, who sought to temporarily block a bid by FUFA to conduct its elections.
High Court Judge Margret Oguli-Oumo on Friday faulted Kasule for delaying to file his application.
Kasule had asked court to call its judges from their annual recess and hear his application to block the said election, accusing the FUFA electoral committee of unfairly denying him a chance to contest as FUFA president at the benefit of Magogo.
FUFA EC disqualified Kasule from the race on grounds that he (Kasule) had failed to satisfy the requirements of nomination including being endorsed by any delegate.
On Wednesday, Kasule also, the chairman of Proline Football Club dragged FUFA, its President Moses Magogo and Electoral Commission (EC) members to the Civil division of the High court, challenging FUFA elections which are slated to take place on August 5, 2017 at Masindi district.
Kasule sued FUFA, Magogo jointly with FUFA EC Chairman Sam Bakaki, Vice Chairman Yusuf Awuye, Habib Aluma, James Okodi, John Gena Adupa, Michael Igole, Julius Semanda, Kintu Geofrey and Stanley Kinene.
Through M/S Nsubuga K. S and Company Advocates, Kasule contended that he expressed interest in standing for the position of FUFA President but his nomination was unfairly and unlawfully nullified by FUFA registered trustee’s EC, hence declaring Magogo as unopposed.
Kasule contended that the appointment of Magogo and a number of members of the EC, was in breach of FUFA’s statutes and principles of impartiality and natural justice, as Magogo together with a host of other EC members are part of FUFA’s governance structures, headed by Bakaki.
“As a result of the biased and compromised nature of FUFA EC, headed by Magogo, the all electoral process right from the grass root elections has been marred with gross electoral malpractices, influence peddling by Bakaki, non-compliance with the relevant statutes and outright impunity in the execution of their mandate,” he claimed.
According to Kasule, FUFA is registered as a trustee under the laws of Uganda and as such is subject to observe and respect the principles of fairness, integrity and rules of law of natural justice in the execution of its functions and mandate.
He observed that Bakaki, who was elected as FUFA EC chairman is the same time a member of FUFA finance committee in charge of monitoring the financial management while Vice Chairman Awuye is at the same time a member of FUFA licensing committee, adding that they also both advice Magogo’s executive.
This all, according to Kasule, was in breach of FUFA and FIFA regulations on the independence and neutrality of the EC.
Court documents indicated that in compliance with FUFA and FIFA statutes, the practice over time has been that members of FUFA’s EC are appointed from outside the organs of EC to ensure the independence and integrity of the Commission as required by law.
Kasule explained that in breach of the FUFA statutes, a number of FUFA secretariat staff were involved in and presided over the grassroots elections for delegates to the FUFA General Assembly, which influenced the electoral process.
According to Kasule, this practice helped FUFA member to manage its affairs independently and with no influence from the third parties.
“The EC is under the influence of Magogo that is why it interfered with the members of the electoral process and caused them to shift voting venue from their respective addresses and geographic locations to FUFA House, located in the city suburbs of Mengo,” he said.
Kasule further said that contrary to the principles of separation of powers as enshrined in the FUFA and FIFA statutes, FUFA’s EC unlawfully nominated and passed as unopposed members of FUFA secretariat and management to hold elective positions in the legislative and policy organs when they are still serving technical officers.
He continued that FUFA registered trustees’ EC caused and supervised the nomination of person, as Vice President representing the 16 Super Division Clubs when such person did not possess the minimum qualification as provided for under the statutes and electoral code.
Kasule claimed that the nomination process of Magogo was characterized by unethical and integrity issues of bribery and corruption, who, on eve nominations on June 15, 2017 summoned 88 delegates of the FUFA general assembly to Jevine hotel in the city suburbs of Rubaga and as such denied him access to the voters.
“The electoral process was characterized by intimidation and threats to the voters who were blackmailed into supporting Magogo and those who were perceived to be in his support were threatened being locked out of football opportunities,” Kasule alleged.
Kasule added that “there was bias and unequal treatment of candidates in the race for president and executive by EC as it violated its own roadmap provided for in the elections and short changed electoral guidelines which led his unfair nullification from the race.
Kasule stressed that his election was unlawfully nullified basing on handwritten letter from a stranger over the official letter from the Club President of SC Villa who had seconded his nomination.
Kasule said he was also denied protection by FUFA EC as he was attacked by goons and Magogo’s supporters within the sight of the EC.
Kasule was seeking for a declaration that actions of the defendants in the conduct of FUFA presidential and executive committee elections are in breach of its constitution, FUFA and FIFA Statutes.
He was looking forward for the court to order for disbanding the defendants EC and directing FUFA trustees to constitute another body in accordance with the FUFA statutes.
Kasule was also seeking a declaration that the nomination of Magogo as unopposed was illegal and in violation of the FUFA Statutes and an order nullifying the whole nomination and electoral process conducted by Bakaki and his team.
He further requested for a declaration that FUFA trustees electoral guidelines ousted by its EC and Magogo executive committee are null and void for being inconsistent with the FUFA Statutes.
He wanted the court to issue a permanent injunction against FUFA Presidential and Executive Committee elections until the EC is disbanded and the defendants fully comply with their own statutes.
Kasule also wanted court to award him general damages and cost of the suit.